Xbox takes cues from platform-agnostic juggernauts like Roblox, Fortnite

Microsoft is taking cues from platform-agnostic juggernauts like Roblox and Fortnite to help guide its Activision-accelerated Xbox gaming business.

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Microsoft is apparently reaching the upper limits of what exclusivity can offer, and now Xbox is taking cues from platform-agnostic giants like Fortnite, Roblox, and Apex Legends.

Xbox takes cues from platform-agnostic juggernauts like Roblox, Fortnite 60

Like much of the world right now, the video games market is under tremendous pressure. The unsustainably high budgets of AAA gaming have taken a toll, leading to mass layoffs as companies try to squeeze out profits. There's a common theme in the games industry right now: Everyone is willing to try anything in order to scrape together more earnings.

Some of these hail mary approaches include disrupting business models that've been in place for a decade. Microsoft, in particular, recently announced that it will break first-party exclusivity on Xbox games and bring four titles to competing platforms like PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.

Xbox's raison d'etre has always been "games, anywhere and everywhere," except for those first-party games that were specifically created for Xbox, like Sea of Thieves, Grounded, Hi-Fi Rush, and Pentiment (the four games breaking exclusivity).

The end goal is pretty simple for Xbox: Maximization of profits and revenues utilizing other platforms. Phil Spencer said it best when he said that Microsoft wants to 'use other platforms' to grow Xbox.

This decision wasn't taken lightly, and has been informed by years of games industry data.

Xbox's Matt Booty succinctly broke down current market trends and adequately explained the rationale for the exclusivity break. In the recent Xbox Podcast stream, Matt highlighted that some games are actually bigger than any singular platform--rightly so, because these games are released and made available on the full spectrum of storefronts and platforms.

Fortnite can be played everywhere (well, except for iOS, but that's changing soon). That's what makes it so powerful, and why it earns billions of dollars a year. Now Xbox wants in on the action.

"We've kind of seen this inversion over the past 5 years where it used to be that the platform was the biggest thing, and the games would tuck in within the platform. Today, big games like Roblox or Fortnite can be bigger than any one platform. So that really changed the way we think about these things."

Xbox takes cues from platform-agnostic juggernauts like Roblox, Fortnite 1

How does this relate to Xbox?

All of Microsoft's biggest games are now live service titles that reach millions of people. Breaking exclusivity makes more sense on this front considering the lower ~23 million Xbox Series installed base. Grounded and Sea of Thieves coming to PlayStation and Nintendo makes sense on a business level--these games need as many people as possible spending and playing in order to make money.

The other games, Pentiment and Hi-Fi Rush, are smaller-scale and maynot swing the needle either way. This could have been a measure to help raise funds for these studios.

Sony's latest holiday 2023 results actually have a great example of this. PlayStation just had a record 123 million monthly active users, and a free-to-play game is believed to be the main reason for the influx. Roblox had just released on PlayStation in October, so it's possible that this huge user spike was affected by Roblox, one of the most popular games on the market today.

The next question is...when will we see Xbox or PlayStation games sold within Fortnite or Roblox?

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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